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Neil Postman and The Great Debate of Televised Religion

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Neil Postman and The Great Debate of Televised Religion

Neil Postman states that religion on television is expressed purely as entertainment. He believes that by making religion more entertaining, sacred rituals and traditions are replaced and lost. In his chapter titled “Shuffle Off to Bethlehem,” Postman describes what he believes to be a fraudulent religious tactic and loss of spirituality through television. Postman also makes a good point when he states that all televised religious matter has been geared purely towards entertainment rather than achieving a real spiritual connection with people. He says it best when he comments, “ Everything that makes religion an historic, profound and sacred human activity is stripped away; there is no ritual, no dogma, no tradition, no theology, and above all, no sense of spiritual transcendence.” I agree with most of his points on this loss of the spiritual connection. Participating in spiritual rituals and traditions, as well as feeling a sense of community, are necessary for worship and cannot be replaced on the T.V. screen.

I also agree with Postman that rituals and traditions are lost through television. I know that when I attend church, communion is a very important part of our Sunday. In the Church of Christ, communion is taken every week. I cherish that sacred time and find that I need that tradition to make me feel a spiritual connection. It is not just bread and juice, it is a reminder of a sacrifice that was made for me.

Baptism is another ritual that I feel is a sacred event to symbolize your commitment to the Lord. I feel that once you make the commitment to become a Christian, the next step is baptism. I don’t think it is something mandatory for salvation but it jus...

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...ide more than a visual image of support and does not come close to providing the emotional support that is needed to get through the trials and tribulations of religion and life.

All the sacred rituals and spiritual connections to God and community are aspects of religion that cannot be found on television. In his chapter, “Shuffle off to Bethlehem,” Postman creates an excellent argument against the secular traditions displayed in televised religion. I agree with his views and feel that religion is something much more demanding and spiritual. It almost seems a responsibility as a Christian to remember that although it is hard to attend all services, God has done more than you could ever repay him for. Attending a real service and worshipping him in person is one small thing you can do to make a big difference in your spiritual connection to the one who created you.
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